What to Expect?

First, choose from two Programs of Emphasis (or POEs): sociology- to understand how social institutions like politics, economics, religion, and family shape your society and your own life experience; social work- the study and practice of how best to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities with solving problems, meeting needs, and addressing concerns. Its problem solving approach emphasizes an ecological systems perspective, cultural competence, an acknowledgement of system strengths, and a multigenerational outlook. (You can even add a focus to your social work POE in one the two areas: justicechildren and multi-generational families, or medicine and behavioral health). 

"I like studying sociology, anthropology, and social work at Juniata because the social world is all around us and we live it everyday. Juniata's courses create an environment for me to really think and question, while transforming me into a better person."

-Micah Dowdy '15

No matter which POE you choose or design, you will pursue hands on experience and undergraduate research in the sociology and social work department at Juniata, where students have interned at a broad range of organizations and conducted research, both on and off campus. Several have even presented their research at professional conferences. 

Explore Our Programs:

Experiential Learning: A Distinctive Quality of Our Program

"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, but if you involve me, I will understand." - wisdom from a Chinese proverb

Social work program faculty are committed to creating opportunities for actively involving students in doing social work throughout their undergraduate careers. Beginning in the second semester of freshman year and continuing through the final semester of the senior year, students are actively engaged in the practice of social work so that they will have ongoing occasion to integrate what they learn in the classroom with their developing social work practice. This approach to social work education produces exceptionally well-rounded, qualified graduates who get jobs easily and who become leaders in their field.

Here are examples of things social work students might experience as part of their coursework in our program.

Sophomore year

  • Be part of a study team that explores the problem of drug abuse and the social policy response to that problem in a local community. The team organizes a workshop to present to other social work students based on the findings and recommendations of the study.
  • Conduct a community needs assessment that examines the extent of unserved or underserved preschool and school-age children who may benefit from improved access to daycare services.
  • Do a "mini-internship" at a local nursing home working directly with the residents.

Junior Year

  • Complete an 80 hour "lab" or mini-internship doing social work with public school students under the supervision of the Prevention Specialist Social Worker in a local school district.
  • Engage in a 60 hour student-team effort to organize a volunteer component to support the adults and their children who are being served by a county-wide literacy project.

Senior Year

  • Complete a 500 hour social work practicum in a psychiatric hospital where responsibilities include doing intake assessments, developing treatment plans, working with an interdisciplinary treatment team, serving as a liaison to patients' families, and discharge planning to assure continuity of care for clients upon their reentry into the community.

Juniata social work students thrive in their professional and academic development because they are significantly challenged in a nurturing educational context that provides the necessary peer and faculty support to assure that they will succeed - often beyond expectation.